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Federal grant allows city to hire additional firefighters

CULVER CITY — The City Council unanimously voted to accept a $1.54 million grant from the federal government to increase staffing for the city’s Fire Department Oct. 14.

The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant came from the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

“The SAFER grant will help our Fire Department improve its staffing and deployment capabilities in order to respond to emergencies more safely and effectively,” Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells said. 

The Fire Department’s incident responses reached a record high of 6,791 in 2018, which is 20% higher than in 2016. Answering to increasing demand, additional firefighters will help improve the department’s staffing and capabilities, achieve responses that are faster for the Culver City community and provide safer incident scenes for Culver City firefighters.  

“The SAFER grant will help defray the costs of adding six new firefighters to the department and put a much-needed third paramedic rescue ambulance into service,” Culver City Fire Chief David White said. “We are extremely grateful for the support of our community, the mayor and City Council. The total number of operational career personnel will increase to 60 members, and the department’s daily staffing will grow from 18 to 20 members.”

The SAFER grant is a three-year commitment. The grant covers 75% of the salary and benefit costs for the new firefighters in years one and two and 35% of the costs in year three.

“This marks the first time since 1981 the department has increased its daily frontline staffing,” Chief White added.

Founded in 1927, the Culver City Fire Department has a mission to protect life, property and the environment by providing prompt and professional fire protection and life safety services. The department has been accredited by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International for the past 21 years.

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